Just Modernity Things

Blog Post 9/13/2016

Carl Marquis-Olson

We Grow Out of Iron and The Ion Messiah

              Gastev’s poem and his background represent a modernizing Russia. Gastev was a factory work, a member of the proletariat which was the fastest growing class of people and the new face of Russia in the early 20th century. He was a peasant who became literate and politically active. His profession and class play an increasingly important role in Russian society and according to Marxists, his class occupies the most politically crucial role in the new socialist order.… Read the rest here

Mass Culture in Soviet Russia

Art and culture seems to have been parallel with the greatest of the political philosophy Russia was seeing at the time. Russia had already begun to emerge a little bit on the international stage, but not enough. These artists wanted to explode this emergence and make the Russian art known throughout the world. This puts an emphasis on each individual in their part of the whole. Revolutionaries wanted to remake the world and believed that they could this new world into one in which things are unified.… Read the rest here

A Russia of Iron & Gastev

Gastev’s poem “We Grow out of Iron” is a short, but powerful poem about the rise of a new Russia, one made of iron.  Utilizing iron as a motif, Gastev evokes that the new Russia is unlike anything in its history.

Iron has long been a symbol of strength, power, and industry in a variety of art forms and Gastev utilizes all three of these themes to create an image of the new Soviet Union.  Beginning with the aspect of strength, Gastev incorporates height, writing about beams that rise “to a height of seventy feet” (Gastev).  … Read the rest here

Revolutionary Works: Words that stir the populous’ blood

Wherever there is revolution, there are artists and intellectuals working behind the scenes to rouse the people into action. In colonial America, it was “Common Sense” by Thomas Paine and “Concord Hymn” by Emerson. In revolutionary Russia, Dmitry Furmanov was responsible for creating the call to action in his novel “Chapaev.” Typical of the World War I era, it glorifies battle and celebrates the power of youth. Furmanov depicts “courageous” young men “indissolubly linked together,” motivating Russia’s youth to respond to a higher calling1.… Read the rest here

Blood and Iron: Gastev’s Socialist Message

Aleksei Gastev takes values of strength and perseverance to new heights with his factory-oriented socialist poem, We Grow Out of Iron.” A laborer himself, Gastev knew full well the hardships found on the factory floor, and took advantage of his experiences to maximize the relatability of his poetic works. Drawing on the iron aesthetic of the workspace, Gastev’s verses support the rhythm of the piece exactly as the cross-beams he references support the factory. Between the beam’s demands for greater strength and the pouring iron blood of the workers, Gastev makes it clear that there is no strength without sacrifice.… Read the rest here

“Chapaev” and “We Grow Out of Iron”: Industrialization and Revolutionary Thoughts

In both “Chapaev” and “We Grow Out of Iron”, the authors are teaching the audience about industrialism and revolutionary thoughts. After the revolution in 1917, new thoughts on modernity emerged.

In Gastev’s poem, “We Grow Out of Iron”, symbols of factories and iron structures elude to society changes, both literal and metaphorically. Gastev describes the buildings are very large and indestructible. The author also describes them as ever-growing structures. After the revolution of 1917, new definitions of modernity emerged.… Read the rest here

The Russian Working Class

Both “We Grow out of Iron” by Gastev and “Chapaev” by Furmanov dealt with the feelings of the working class during the Soviet takeover of Russia.

“We Grow out of Iron” is a propaganda poem glorifying hard work, an idea that was spread throughout the Soviet Union.  While this poem could be dismissed as a piece of propaganda, it is more than that.  Gastev was from the poor, working class.  Without the breaking down of the class system, he would most likely have never been able to write his poetry.  … Read the rest here

Gastev’s Soviet Unions

Though the poet Aleksei Gastev was killed during Stalin’s Great Purges, he had been a Communist supporter for much of his life. Though he was distanced from the Party in 1907, when he was in his late twenties, after a disagreement on how to combat the spread of capitalism, he still supported the proletariat in a variety of ways. Gastev’s intention in “We Grow out of Iron” can be better understood if we consider his strong belief in unions, which was the basis of his break from the Party.… Read the rest here

Revolutionary Thought in Russian Literature

To me, the poem “We Grow Out of Iron” by Aleksei Gastev is about the power of the working class of Russia. The poem begins with the subject constructing a building out of iron, but by the middle lines of the poem the subject realizes that his work makes him strong, too. He grows confident and solid in his actions, surprising himself with his own strength and endurance as he shouts to his comrades “may I have the floor?” This echoes the revolution in the early 20th Century, when the wives and mothers began rioting over lack of food and, backed by their factory-working husbands and children, started a movement that would lead to significant change.… Read the rest here

Gastev and Chapaev

Aleksel Gastev, Vladimir Kirillov, and Mikhail Geraismov all wrote their poetry about the machine’s growing importance and the growth of industry in Russia. All three were proletarians and believed that the revolution and change Russia needed was to be found on factory floors. Gastev’s “We Grow Out of Iron” compares the newly built iron factory to his own new importance and strength. The strength of iron is reflected in the boldness of the revolutionaries and Gastev considers himself one of them.… Read the rest here